This is Why

Since Dragon Moon was published, I’ve had quite a lot of emails and blog comments asking me to write a fourth Dragonkeeper book. I always say the same thing. It’s not going to happen. I don’t want to write a fourth book. After all her adventures, I think Ping should have a nice quiet life. She deserves it.

Some people get quite cross with me. They seem to think I’m just being difficult. Or they think I’ve run out of ideas. It’s neither of those things. It’s wonderful that people liked the books so much that they want more. But if my heart isn’t in it, it wouldn’t be any good anyway.

Writing a novel takes a lot of time, about a year for one of my books. It can be stressful, getting it all to work. You have to slog away at it every day, whether you feel like it or not, whether it’s working or not. So it has to be something that I want to write. I know that sounds selfish, but for me it’s the only way to do it.

I’m not the only one that feels that way. I heard Graeme Base talking on the radio the other week and he said the same thing. “I never do market research,” he said. “I just do the stuff that I feel suddenly inspired by and that I will get joy from doing and which I honestly believe is worth two years of my time.”

You never know if a book is going to be successful. I only write the stories that I really want to write, that I have to write, that I would still think were worth all the effort, even if they didn’t do well.

So I haven’t run out of ideas. I’ve just got different ideas. What I’ve run out of is enthusiasm for continuing that story with those characters. And even if someone did write to me and give me a fabulous idea for a fourth book, I couldn’t use it, because it wouldn’t be my story. (And if it was a big hit, bigger than Harry Potter and I got a seven picture deal and became a millionaire, then the person who gave me the idea would sue me!) I have to stick with my own ideas.

The interview with Graeme Base, was on Life Matters on ABC Radio National on 5 Nov and you can listen to a podcast of the full interview.

124 responses to “This is Why

  1. Hello,
    It’s easy to dream a perfect story but just try to pass it to paper…scary. It just don’t work. You have done an excellent trilogy and I believe that it was very hard to finish it. Unfortunately I’m still waiting for the last book, I believe there’s a delay in the translation to Portuguese but I’ll wait “patiently” like Danzi says.
    Best regards to “Hua” and congratulations.

  2. Hello, just wanted to say that I can’t wait for Dragon Dawn! I don’t mind if you did a fourth book, it would be a long series if you went over four books. I was very surprised you did a pre-sequal because you said you didn’t want to do more DragonKeeper books but this seems to be the final book. I love the series and will read them again in the future, I have a lot of books to read at the moment! Good luck for the future.

  3. Hello, although I just finished Dragon Keeper, i found that this book is really really so interesting. And I was so upset to hear that you won’t write this story again…….
    But never mind, hope you can write another interesting story that can make us feel exciting and interesting also

    Thank you very much!!!!!

  4. Jorge,
    Thanks for understanding. I’m afraid I can’t do anything about getting Dragon Moon out quicker in Portugal. Only the Portuguese publisher can tell you when it will come out.

  5. yes, i agree with you too carole, a long story can become really boring. a trilogy is terrific and yes, if you dont have your heart put to somethin, it will never work.

  6. Hey Everyone.

    I have recently started a blog on teenage books.
    Anyone interested in joining it?
    On this blog we can discuss books we’ve read and recommend books to each other.


  7. Hi (again!)
    Umm, well this particular ‘comment’ has nothing to do with this subject but I was just wondering….
    What do you recommend me and others that read your spectacular books read next???


  8. hi, haven’t blogged for a while, it is true that i think you need a rest, speaking of movie offers, it’s a wonder that gragonkeeper’s not a movie yet!

  9. the ending to Dragon Moon was so good! it’s great how Ping can finally have a peaceful life. i can’t wait to read Dragon Dawn!

  10. I think Carole’s right. I’m very young and I’m sludging away at my first novel, but I’m not turning it into a series because the novel covers all the aspects of what’s it about. When you’re done with your ideas for a series and had it published, that’s the end of the series. Carole, you’re one hard person to convince to do something!

  11. hello.I am from singapore and I jus wanted 2 say that the dragon series ROCKS!me and my,friend Natasha love your books so much that we started on our owns.(I hope u dont mind,but i hav a lot of ideas)mine is called the returns of a great is my first book and i hope u will give me some support.Natasha is about pheonix rearing.please dont sue us.we did tis cos school is really boring and we hav nothing to do.I m curently trying 2 find a blog 2 post my all the dragon fans out there,jus wanna let u know that writing stories is not all hard work,it can also be tons of fun!!!

  12. Nicole,
    Glad to hear that you and Natasha like my books. I don’t mind if you make up your own stories. It’s good that you enjoy writing so much.

  13. hello,again!thanks so much,carole!I knew you would give us support(smiles)It is a pity that you are not gonna change your mind bout a fourth book but I respect your decision.
    BTW,when is dragondawn coming to Singapore?

  14. I read the first few entries and I really dont understand your answer to christian.He asked ‘ will kai ever meet his father?’I have the dragon moon book and I cannot find the answer to that question.Can you plz give me a clue or something?

  15. Hi, I am waiting to read Dragon Moon. I love the Dragon Keeper series and HATE Lui Che he is evil. I can’t help but crying when something bad happens to Ping and I hope Hua comes back. And I was wondering the same thing will Kay ever meet his father but I don’t want any hints. NICHOLES idea of writing her own book sounds good. If it gets published I would read it. I have tried writing books but all my idea are bad I should stick with reading not writing!!
    I am 11 years old! I live in Maine U.S.A

  16. Nicole, Becky,
    That question is not answered directly in the book. There are clues, and it is up to the reader to make up their own mind.
    Nicole can’t publish the stories she writes about the Dragonkeeper world in a book. My publisher would sue her if she did 😉
    Becky, not everybody is destined to be a writer, I’m sure you have other great skills.

  17. I just love Dragonkeeper! As soon as I started reading Dragon Dawn, I just got so hooked into it! Then I started reading Dragonkeeper. Which I finished last Friday. Now I’m reading Garden Of the Purple Dragon. And it’s great so far! And I can’t wait to start on Dragon Moon! You’re a brillant author Carole! (can I call you Carole?)

  18. I havent thought THAT far.maybe its a gd idea(haha,joking)Carole,wat do u mean by ‘clues’?Ive read dragonmoon repeatedly and sill didnt get it.Thanks,Becky.(smiles)I m soooooo excited!!!The bookaburra company is coming to my school(CHIJ)on monday(second march)and tuesday(third march).frm the past blogs,ive found out tat dragondawn is avaliable!!!my parents promised me to let me hav it as an early birthday present.(yayyyyyy)

  19. Ya, I know she could not write like a sequel but any book about Dragons I would read. And Carole I think I know the answer Danzi is maybe dead, well Ping said that she thinks that so am I right she said she could fell it so?
    Thanks, I was thinking about Marine Biology!!!!!!!!!

  20. Nicole, Becky,
    You two are very persistent! However, as I said, their are some things that are for readers to decide for themselves. Not everybody will come up with the same answer. That’s the fun of reading. Making different interpretations.

  21. hi carole!!!is the term `phoenix rearing` good?cause it will be 9000000000% better for a post for a character with a better post

  22. Becky,
    as I said there it’s for you to decide. I won’t tell you my opinion as that is only my opinion. Other readers will have different points of view.

  23. hi!I read dragonkeeper(for the 100th)time n luved it!since it is mar school hols,i am currently reading garden of pd.

    BTW,I loved did danzi get captured?how did he know luyu?

  24. Nicole,
    I don’t really know how Danzi was captured, or how me met Lu Yu. I haven’t imagined that story yet.

  25. its ok!nat checked the qilin n she says it contradicts what u say.ok,help!i m totally did u find out bout liu che?

  26. major annoucment!!!carole,i m sure u noe tis but to all the other fans who dont,LISTEN UP!!!sory,jus overxcited.when i heard tis,i didnt noe whether 2 laugh or cry.(i laughed)plz sit first so u dont faint.Liu che(the character in the trilogy)is REAL.OMG!umm…a thousand years ago,that is.

  27. Nicole,
    I don’t understand your comment about the qilin. Where did I say anything about a qilin?
    Liu Che is the birth name of the Chinese Emperor who became known as Wudi. And he lived 2000 years ago. There are other characters in the books who were real people—Liu Che’s sister, his father, Counsellor Tian, and the imperial magician Dong Fang Suo.
    Nothing is known about Liu Che’s childhood, so I made it up.

  28. how cool!i think its the 1st book when danzi said bout the four mystical creatures.(is the tortoise really in?)im not so sure,though .

  29. hi!!!hey Carole,did u get my posts earlier on?I posted bout 4-6 times but its not shown here.

    BTW,I could not find princess yangxin in wikipedia.did she use a different name?

    PS,natasha and I found out how to write long kai duan and long danzi in chinese(second language)Its sooo cool!!(seriously)

  30. Nicole,
    Okay now I know what you’re talking about. That is what I read about the four spiritual animals. Yes the tortoise is included. The qilin is described differently in different sources over time. I chose the version with only one horn.
    Not everything is in Wikipedia. I can’t remember where I found info about Yangxin.
    I got all of your comments, the others were on a different post I think, perhaps the one about the new covers.
    I will ask black dog books about Companion in Singapore.

  31. hi,Carole.sory,could not go into com last few days(high fever)um….can I ask u something?in dragonmoon.u said jiang(gu hongs daughter)meant ginger but on wikipedia it said dawn.

    BTW,which character is pings name?(was it 11 strokes?)

  32. Nicole,
    I didn’t write the Wikipedia page. I don’t know who did. They got it wrong Jiang can mean many things in Chinese but not dawn. The Jiang I had in mind meant ginger. None of the dragons names mean Dawn, though Tun means morning sunlight.
    This is the character for Ping is ? second tone.

  33. I really wanted to read the fourth book from dragon keeper trilogy…can’t you make it like its Kai’s story when he is 50 or 100th years old and how his life goes on in dragon heaven and maybe…he would miss Ping and searching for her…and meet ping when she is old or that she passed away and kai meet her son/daughter and blah blah blah…

  34. Nicholas,
    I have thought about that before. But at the moment that’s not what I want to write. As I said in this post, you have to really want to write a book to make it good. Maybe one day.

  35. hey this isnt a question about this but i thought there would be another book because at the end of garden of the purple dragon it said: “but they new it wouldnt last long” s o i guess i thought wrong

  36. Justyn,
    There IS another book after Garden of PD. Dragon Moon is the third and final book in the trilogy.

  37. curtis,
    I like to leave some things for readers to imagine themselves. You can imagine what happened to Hua.

  38. i think that it’s ok that you don’t want to write another book for the series but you can always write a new fantasy story.i actually had a dream i met you at the airport!!!i finished dragon dawn!!
    that makes 4 books….so write a 5th one!!!

  39. I loved all of your books so much i named my new puppy kai after the charecter in the book.

    btw i am only 10

    ps and i read the first 2 books in 2 weeks. please right a 5th book when u have time even if it is not in the triolgy.

    from amy

  40. Amy,
    Glad you liked the books, and I hope your Kai is well behaved.
    As I said in the blog post, I have no plans to write another book.

  41. hello… i have just started the sires like… 1 week ago i think and im on the third book in the triolgy and i am thinkin about reading the first book about long danzel before ping. i loved the books so much that I can;t evan say how much i love it… i hope that you mabey right other books simaler to dragon keeper, oh well right now i have too get reading the new book “dragon keeper dragon moon”!!!!! bye bye
    love vicki joy

  42. Carole,
    Congratulations on a fantastic book series. a group of my friends all say the same. its a great story of corage and adventure. i think it is perfectly fine to end the book on such a good note and not write anymore. every story has to end and you are right ping does deserve a break! you have done extremely well and i wish you well in your future books. thankyou so much for all your hard work to write this series!
    love your work!!!

  43. Carole,
    you do whatever you think is right. you can’t please everyone but i really enjoyed your books. i read them all when they first came out.
    even though some people may be mad at you for not making another book, as long as you did you best and are happy, then you are fine. i for one, like you for your writing abilities. although i wish you would make a 4th book, i can respect you choice.
    great job :):):):):):):):):):

  44. hi carole,
    i have a question,
    does ping get married?
    i haven’t read the books scence they first came out
    ps- my full name is caressa

  45. pps,
    it says “posted by ress on tuesday october 6 2009, but where i live, its monday october 5

  46. ress,
    Glad you enjoyed the books. It’s up to readers to imagine what happens after Dragon Moon finishes. I haven’t written that story, so anything could happen!
    I have written a 4th book, Dragon Dawn,
    but it has not been published in USA.
    My computer lives in Australia, so that’s the time it works by. Australia is currently 15-18 hours ahead of the US.

  47. Hey carole, i always thought ping would end up with liu che but i was wrong… or was i? 😛
    I can’t wait for dragon dawn to come out in the us. So ping gets a dog? I bet she calls him kai… 😛
    your super kool with a capital “ka”

  48. Carole, finally finished reading the trilogy, including Dragon Dawn, and i was so sad theres not another book :(. I couldnt put it down. I beg you, if you are ever thinking of writing another, please dont heasitate 😀

  49. Carole, did you really read the whole “Dragons in china and japan” book? I’m trying to get info from the general information sectio and its still hard. Also, in dragon keeper you said that the reversed scales serve for storing things but in the dragon book it says that anyone who touches them gets killed… could you explain this? Please?

  50. Rafael,
    Ping doesn’t get a dog.
    Yes I read the whole book. I did not follow the mythology to the letter. I used what was useful in the story.

  51. This was the best series of books I’ve ever read that would be pretty cool if there was a movie though.i cant wait for dragon dawn to come out were I live

  52. I have just finished reading Dragon Moon and i thought that the series is great and I will add it to my favorite series collection. I understand that you can’t write another book and if you don’t have the motivation it won’t be written well. I wrote this message right after I finished reading your book. I already have Garden of the Purple Dragon i think that the first book was the best out of all the books in the series. I stayed up all night reading that book and had to use a my blanket to cover my flashlight so my brother wouldn’t wake up!!! Can’t wait to read Dragon Dawn and I hope you write something about Kai, maybe sequel but with only Kai and the other dragon and see how there life is going. Hehe. Wish you good luck on what ever you are going to write next.

  53. My friend is currently writing a book to and so far its about 200 pages give or take. I designed the cover but obviously it won’t be published. Hehe. His dad is a writer too!!! i was wondering hoe to submit my pictures to this website so others can see my drawings. I have been drawing dragons since I was a kid and thats the only thing I can draw, so I love to read things about dragons. I am very good at history and enjoy reading stories based on history. Another series that I favor is the Five Ancestors.

  54. Reynard,
    It would be great to see your dragon pix. If you click on Contacts at the bottom of this page you will find an email address and a postal address.

  55. I love the dragon keeper books and Chinese Dragons. I respect your desition, but i want 2 Know what happens to Kai and Ping. I know nothing lasts for ever but i wish your books did

  56. BlueMew210210,
    Thanks. I appreciate your enthusiasm for my books but
    I don’t know what happens to Kai and Ping. You can make up your own story.

  57. Kaity,
    Liu Che was a real person. He was an ethical emperor, but warlike and obsessed with living forever. I tried to imagine what sort of a young man would have grown into that man. I don’t think he was bad. He made mistakes, but regretted them.

  58. do u know a way to get me dragon moon or give me advice on how to get it because ur my favorit aurthor and this series are my favorit books so far i got my friend to read DragonKeeper he loved it now hes reading the garden of the purple dragon i let him baro it its hilarious but the end was sad and suprisingly happy he keeps telling me to tell him the endding i keep saying no but anyway if u find a way email me i live in mo. so i cant find it anywhere

  59. logan,
    I don’t know where you live. Where is mo?
    I am glad you didn’t tell your friend the ending! I hope he read the book through himself.

  60. logan,
    okay I did a bit of Googling and now I think you live in Missouri. I live in Australia so I don’t know the abbreviations for US states. Anyway, you should be able to get Dragon Moon from any good book shop in the US. If they haven’t got it in stock, you politely ask them to order it in for you, and they should do that.
    Have you tried looking in your school library or your local library. They might have it there.
    If all else fails you can buy it online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble or somewhere like that.
    Good luck.

  61. i am wondering how long it took you to
    write these books it must have taken a long time!!!!

  62. I just finished dragon moon and i was wondering if Danzi is now dead. I know Ping says that she knew he was dead in her heart, and that he didn’t visit Kai anymore- but does that really mean he’s dead? Could’nt it be possible that he just doesn’t leave the isle anymore? >.<

  63. Jaclyn,
    I like my readers to make their own decisions about these things. I think I’ve given you enough information, you have to make your own decision.

  64. is long danzi really dead or did he reach the end of the ocean??????btw, i love ur books. maybe u should just write another series and just give up on the dragon keeper series??

  65. I think that’s up to the reader to make a decision about that.
    I haven’t given up on Dragonkeeper entirely. Not yet.

  66. Hi Carole
    I was wondering if you can give me some adivce
    on how to write a book and find a publisher

  67. Kim,
    first of all you have to have a story that you REALLY want to tell. Then you have to write it. Sentence by sentence. It takes me about a year to write a book.
    I have written quite a bit about writing on this website. Have a look at my FAQs
    There are links to other authors advice and to blogs I have written on the subject.
    I have also written an FAQ about how to find a publisher.
    But you have to have a finished book before you think about that.
    You might also want to have a look at this
    Good luck with your writing.

  68. Thanks Carole
    After many nights and days i have finished typing up my first book called “Orphan Girl”,
    My mum read it and said “Wow Kim Looks like we have our own little author here”.
    I was so proud of myself.
    Now All i have to do is find a publishing company
    Thanks-a-million Carole

  69. please write another dragon keeper book, their really really good. I am almost burst when I heard that you wouldn’t write another one. You could write about Ping travelling back with Jun then Kai visits her dream to tell her his in danger… I don’t care if you use my ideas just please write a fourth book 🙁

  70. Thank-you for considering, I know its your desision and I know you will chose the right one 😀

  71. Marni,
    I wrote this blog two years ago today! I have had a rest from Dragonkeeper and now I am thinking about writing another book. It won’t be about Ping though. Ping is having a nice quiet life that involves no adventures!

  72. Thanks for replying Carole.
    Will the book your going to write be a dragon book? Also I might start writing a book. It will most likely be about wolves because I love them!! Do you have any tips? Also I am wondering how people name there characters such unique names, thats the most trouble I am having. My story is in a world that doesn’t actually exist but it is a bit like Japan. No technology, e.g phones, computers. My main character is a girl called chieme.

  73. My characters name is pronounced; Chee-aim-ee which I forgot to add in the other comment 😀

  74. Awesome, I would love to hear more about Kai because I didn’t think Ping would leave him. Kai was my favourite character in the Dragon Keeper series, because I love dragons. Thank-you for the tips and the best of luck for your book.

  75. To Carole,
    I have decided not to write a book about wolves. I can’t think of how to start it and what will be the plot. I might try again later, but for now I am thinking of writing another one about people with elements. Like Avatar the last airbender (but heaps different). I think the main character will be a girl with a water element, because I love water and I’m an aquarius.

  76. first of all i love ur dragon keeper trilogie and i wonder if u could please please do another book following dragon moon cause i want mor

    and Kai ( not me ) is so cute and he makes me lagh some times:)

  77. Kai,
    I have just begun writing a book that follows Dragon Moon….sort of…it is set 400 years later. So your namesake Kai is in it but not Ping. It will take me at least a year to write it though.

  78. carole, i’m so happy you have started work on a new dragon keeper book! i know it will be great! and by the way your dragon keeper books where the first books that i read the whole way through and they have now lead me to read alot of other fantasy books! thank you so much!!

  79. Dear Carole,
    Hi Carole! I just finished reading Dragon Moon and loved it. I was wondering if you have any other book series that you wrote so I could look into them. I really loved the chinese background( i guess you could call it that) because i never read anything like it before. Well, thanks and please write suggestions. Also, what do YOU imagine happened to Danzi, Kai, and Ping after? Thanks for your time(:

  80. Oh yeah, and i am glad you have started another book of Kai. I loved him for his short but understanding sentences. I think this should have nothing to do with dragon keepers so it should have a different series name. Good luck!!

  81. Becca,
    Glad to hear that you liked Dragon Moon. Thanks for the nice things you said about it.
    You can see all the books I have written if you click on Books in the menu at the top of this page, or at the bottom.I have only written one other fictional series, that is the Ramose series set in ancient Egypt. That is for readers aged 7-12, I would say. They are shorter books than the Dragonkeeper series.
    I prefer readers to do their own imagining about what happens to the characters after the end of the books.
    You will see what I think happens to Kai when this new book is published.

  82. Carole,
    I am 12 years old so i think i will look into the other series.When do you think your new book is going to come out? Is Kai going to think of Ping even though it is hundreds of years later? and have you thought of a name for the book yet? when you can please post the first chapter as a sneek peak…. if you want to but i am very exicited(: thank you Carole!!!

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